Annual fund-raiser to benefit historic building

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The annual White River Community Club fund-raiser fish fry will take place June 12 at the White River Community Club in Meeker on County Road 8. The fry is a community event, and the public is encouraged to attend.

"Of course all the fish comes from the White River and members donate all the side dishes, so it is real home cooking," club President Dee Weiss said.

"All of the repairs and upkeep have been done by club members either by work or in-kind donations," she said.

All proceeds from the event will go toward major improvements to the club building, which is a long-standing fixture in the White River valley. The building is an old schoolhouse that was used from the mid- to late 1920s until 1948 when a lack of students forced its closure. From 1948 to 1956, the school had several owners. Minewa Bell Roosevelt, wife of Elliott Roosevelt, donated the school and the land to the White River Community in memory of her father, Alfonso Bell. Elinor Roosevelt attended the dedication.

"We're almost past the Band-Aid treatments club members have done in the past. The foundation and the roof needs replacing, and they are high-dollar items. These big projects need more expertise and funding than members are financially able to provide," she said.

Weiss said the club was looking into grants and other alternative funding sources from several states as well as private foundations, most of which require matching funds. The club hopes the fish fry profits will put them in a good position to move forward.

Weiss said this year's attendance should be high because it is an election year and the candidates running for state and federal offices in the region have been invited, and many have confirmed they would attend.

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